Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Byelection bonanza -- six mini-referendums are pending

I'd lost count but a Citizen article the other day has the tally -- we could have as many as six federal byelections this fall. A general election may not be in the offing, but six byelections across the country will be pretty darned close.

There are three ridings in Quebec, two in Toronto and one in Vancouver on the list. The vacancies are in Vancouver-Quadra (Stephen Owen, Liberal), Toronto-Centre (Bill Graham, Liberal), Toronto-Willowdale (Jim Peterson, Liberal), Outremont (Jean Lapierre, Liberal), Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot (Yvon Loubier, BQ) and Roberval (Michael Gautier, BQ).

Harper’s lobbyist ex-campaign director, John Reynolds, “speculates” on timing:

September is a likely choice for three seats in Quebec. November is a good bet for two seats in Toronto and one in Vancouver.

The dates are up to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but Reynolds said those scenarios would avoid conflicts with other events, such as the Oct. 10 Ontario provincial election.
They say byelections are always a referendum on the government, and these ones will be interesting on a number of fronts as a test of how the Deceivin’ Steven’s government is playing on the West coast, where they’ve lost ground in past elections, in Toronto where they’d like to make gains, particularly with ethnic voters, and in Quebec, where they’ve been shoveling money off the back of a truck.

For the Liberals, it’s a chance to seize some momentum and start building towards a general, not to mention getting Bob Rae (Toronto-Centre) and Martha Hall Findlay (Willowdale) into the HoC, as well as a former provincial environment minister in Joyce Murray (Quadra).

The NDP has big hopes for Outremont in particular with their star recruit, and a win by the NDP there would change the dynamics in Quebec in the general.

The BQ needs to hold its ground and Gilles Duceppe needs to redeem himself from his leaving, not leaving tomfoolery.

And the Conservatives need to show the public is behind them if they’re to keep the moral authority to govern.

So, big stakes for everyone. Think of it as a dry-run for the next campaign.

Enjoy the summer break, it will be a busy fall...

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

7 comments:

Francesco said...

Hey Jeff

i agree with your analysis...although i have a good feeling may lose the seat in vancouver quadra...and the one in outremount due to obvious reasons - we are not gaining any traction in quebec and you can bet that layton's candidate in quebec will split the vote with us....unfortunately this will not be the same scenario that played out in London north (the last by-election) ...

northwestern_lad said...

Vancouver-Quadra and Outremont are in play for sure, but so will Toronto Centre. With Bob Rae running there, it will be interesting to see how that race turns out.

Francesco said...

..i think Toronto Centre will be go well...enough resources will be dedicated to the riding and mr rae is a great campaigner ...heck if mr flathery can be re-elected so can mr rae.. and flathery and company left ontario in a mess!!! like i said i do not have a good feeling about the other two ridings...

Bailey said...

There was an interesting article on Outremont in the Globe the other week talking about Thomas Mulcair. He's not the typical NDP member. In fact, according to the article one political scientist saw him as more centre-right than left.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070630.quebec30/BNStory/National/

Could be an interesting race.

Dan McKenzie said...

Paging Martin Cauchon...

Lord of Wealth said...

Newmarket Aurora should be put in play too.

Belinda anounced she was going to resign but did not actually resign. Considering her decision and need to heal after her Cancer ordeal she should make her resignation immediate and put that riding up for by-election.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Something I forgot to mention is the income trusts issue. It will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out in a few of these ridings, Quadra in particular, and the two Torontos.

Also of interest will be how the Green Party factors into the races.